Abstract

Flatness of the wavefront diffracted by grating can be mandatory for some applications. At ambient temperature, the wavefront diffracted by a volume phase holographic grating (VPHG) is well mastered by the manufacturing process and can be corrected or shaped by postpolishing. However, to be used in cooled infrared spectrometers, VPHGs have to stand and work properly at low temperatures. We present the measurement of the wavefront diffracted by a typical VPHG at various temperatures down to 150K and at several thermal inhomogeneity amplitudes. The particular grating observed was produced using a dichromated gelatine technique and encapsulated between two glass blanks. Diffracted wavefront measurements show that the wavefront is extremely stable according to the temperature as long as the latter is homogeneous over the grating stack volume. Increasing the thermal inhomogeneity increases the wavefront error that pinpoints the importance of the final instrument thermal design. This concludes the dichromated gelatine VPHG technology, used more and more in visible spectrometers, can be applied as it is to cooled IR spectrometers.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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